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South Carolina (SC)

As for now, South Carolina is opposed to gambling of any kind, owing to its strict conservative values. Known by Christian-centric mores, the state has banned lotteries, horse racing, and card and dice games. However, sports betting is not technically illegal in SC. As previously mentioned, illegal games are pretty specific in the law; sports gambling is not included in this list of unlawful acts.

Therefore, residents can participate in sports betting through the available offshore online platforms and by going to other states where sports gambling is legal.

Legal and licensed apps:

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Online Sports Betting in South Carolina

While physical betting is not legal nor regulated, residents still have online options. The state codes do not say anything about online gambling or mobile betting. Hence, many websites and apps regulated and licensed overseas are available for use within the jurisdiction of the Palmetto State. These include Bovada, BetUS, and BetOnline, among others.

In-person betting is illegal, but it is predicted that legalization will come soon. Ever since the federal government repealed the amateur sports protection act (PASPA), almost 30 states have legalized sports gambling. There are reasons to believe that South Carolina will be the next state to join in, as the state has already attempted to legalize sports betting and land-based casinos.

However, the legislation hasn't proceeded because of other matters that need more attention. For instance, the infrastructure in South Carolina needs repairing, and legislators are more focused on such issues. However, the various legislatures are facing budget constraints and trying to increase tax revenue.

Legalizing sports betting could be an effortless way to increase revenue and has seen success in other states. So, it should be only a matter of time before the state realizes this and allows either online or in-person sports wagering. Currently, only offshore online sports betting in South Carolina is permitted.

Sports Betting Legislation in SC

The state is famous for its strict gambling laws, but they were not always so tough. When in 1802, the constitutional amendment banned every form of gambling in the state, including cards, dice games, horse racing, and lotteries. However, the law does not explicitly mention the term 'online'; as a result, residents continue to use offshore betting apps for wagering.

In the 1990s, video poker machines were installed at gas stations and stores. There were almost 34,000 operating slot machines in a state with a $2.8 billion gambling industry. However, all that went down the drain when gambling was declared illegal. And thus, all the slot machines were unplugged by the year 2000.

Right after that, a state lottery was approved. Then in 2015, a commercial casino bill was introduced, which also failed. In January 2021, South Carolina had three pieces of legislation in the committee, and in April 2022, a whole new gambling bill was introduced.

Especially the last one of these was seeking to push the state toward legalizing state sports betting, but these efforts came to a grinding halt in June 2022 when the bill fell apart despite some early optimism around it.

In-Person Sports Betting In South Carolina

The only legal in-person gambling allowed in Palmetto State is the state lottery, which hasn't anything to do with sports betting. No retail and land-based casinos are operating within the borders of the state. In short, there is a restriction on all types of in-person gambling.

As South Carolina sports betting is not regulated, the age limit for gambling is also not defined. However, many of the online offshore wagering apps allow only adults above the age of 18 to place bets.

As land-based casinos are strictly not allowed, the only form of in-person gambling is found on cruise ships, and these ships must operate three miles away from the state lands.

Sports Betting In Neighboring States

Sports gambling is legal in the neighboring state of North Carolina and has been since July 2019. There are two retail sportsbooks in NC, and they are both brick-and-mortar casinos. However, this is only restricted to tribal lands, and this sports betting income has proven advantageous for the state's revenue.

All of this leads to the expectation of its expansion in North Carolina. The state is expected to sell licenses to sports betting companies, resulting in online and mobile gambling becoming more common.

The wagering age limit in North Carolina is 21 years and above for electronic games, but it does not cover horse racing. Betting on high school athletics is also not legal there. South Carolina may likely be swayed by the success of the NC sports betting market. However, the state’s other neighbor, Georgia, has yet to legalize sports gambling.

What is legal to bet on in South Carolina?

There is a variety of sporting events in the state. High school football and college games are prevalent. The state also loves car racing and has hosted some critical NASCAR races. The residents also love golf; the state has about one hundred golf courses.

Skiing, swimming, deep-sea fishing, and water sports are enjoyed throughout the state's territory. However, none of these sports are available for in-person betting. But, as already mentioned, online sports gambling is not illegal, and residents continue to use offshore online sports betting apps.

While using these apps, they can bet on all the sports, including e-sports, that are available to the users of that app. Live wagering can also be done on any sport that is made available by the app.

The age limit ranges from 18 to 21 years, depending on your app. South Carolina is one of the few states that does not allow in-person betting at race tracks. So the residents entertain themselves while gambling on cruise ships in the open waters. Or they travel to North Carolina, where in-person wagering is legal.

What’s Next For SC Betting Apps?

As in-person gambling is not permitted in South Carolina, it is no surprise to find that the rules against gambling here are stringent. There are reasons to believe that sports betting will be legal soon, possibly even in 2023. One important reason is that many states have legalized it and are benefiting from the tax revenue that this activity generates.

While it is impossible to determine when it will become legal: the day is not far, as legislators are becoming more and more vocal about its benefits. If online betting becomes regularized, big companies such as Caesars, BetMGM, and so on can get licensed here as they already have solid bases in various other states.

Gambling news and updates from South Carolina

  • December 7, 2023: DraftKings introduces Pick6, a peer-to-peer fantasy sports game, starting in six states, including South Carolina. It involves predicting "more or less" stats for 2 to 6 players from different teams in NFL and NBA contests. The product plans to expand to other sports and states in the coming year.

  • June 7, 2023: Lottery games like $1 Wild Luck and $2 Crazy Luck achieve excellent results in South Carolina, contributing to robust state lottery operations. Launched in February, these games have generated over $5.2 million in sales, with 23,000 unique users purchasing a total of 335,000 tickets online.

  • January 11, 2023: South Carolina's House Joint Resolution 3095 proposes introducing online casino gambling and sports betting, among other activities. However, its passage alone wouldn't legalize these activities; it grants the state legislature the authority to vote on legalization. The proposal is now with the House Committee on Judiciary.

  • December 9, 2022: Bubba Technology Group, an illegal gambling operation in Piedmont, pleads guilty and agrees to forfeit around $367,000 in illegal profits. They've also lost dozens of unlicensed gambling machines and an additional $670,000 seized from affiliated gaming houses.

  • April 25, 2022: South Carolina's House Bill 5277, introduced by Representatives William Herbkersman and Tom Rutherford, proposes provisions to allow interactive sports betting in the state. It's currently under review by the state's Committee on Judiciary.

South Carolina (SC) - Some commonly asked questions (FAQ):

Is sports betting legal in South Carolina?

Currently, online sports betting is still illegal in South Carolina. However, as there are no specific limitations on using offshore sportsbook apps, players here can use many trustworthy bookmakers without fear of any repercussions.

What sportsbook apps are there available in SC?

There are quite many offshore betting apps available in South Carolina, and it is legal to use all of them. These sportsbook apps also offer some of the best odds and easy betting opportunities, as well as great promotions for their customers.

How does online sports betting work in South Carolina?

All in all, online sports betting in South Carolina is very easy. All that players are required to do is sign up for their favorite sportsbook and download the app if they just so wish, as you have also an option to bet straight from the website.

Who regulates sports betting in SC?

For the time being, there isn’t any commission or other kind of state-wide regulatory body overseeing the sports betting landscape in South Carolina as online gambling has not yet been legalized in the state.

What sports can I bet on in South Carolina?

Though sports gambling is not yet legal in South Carolina, you can access offshore betting apps perfectly legally. These sportsbook apps offer pretty much all the top US sports to be wagered on including football, hockey, baseball, and basketball.

Can I sign up for multiple sports betting apps in SC?

There are no restrictions on the number of offshore sports betting apps a user can register for. As long as players follow all instructions, and are of the legal gambling age required by the app, they are welcome to play.